Sustainable goals start at the kitchen table

Goals of the future can start at the kitchen table

By Margo Peill

A few weeks ago, on a sunny warm Friday afternoon, a group of individuals gathered for a discussion.

Overlooking the city and the mountains through the expansive windows of a Sportsplex meeting room, the group was gathered to discuss what seems like an impossibly daunting task: how to achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in our community.

For anyone not familiar with the Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, they are a set of 17 goals, developed by the United Nations, focusing on areas such as health, equity, peace, and the environment.

They were developed in 2015, building on the Millennium Development Goals and have a completion deadline of 2030.

Examples of some of the goals include:

Goal #1– end poverty, in all its forms, everywhere;

Goal #2- End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture;

Goal #3- Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.

Daunting to say the least. And that’s just the first three goals, there are 14 more of similar weight and importance.

The group that met on June 15 at the Sportsplex consisted of many individuals representing various groups from our community, including social support organizations, non-profits, academic institutions and businesses.

During the event hosted by Dan Harris of the BC Council for International Cooperation (based out of Vancouver) the focus was on Goal # 11: make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

This goal encompasses many of the other SDGs but through a local, community lense.

What assets does Terrace already have that are working toward achieving this goal?

How could we incorporate more into our systems, government, policies and initiatives?

Without the heart and commitment of small and resilient communities, just like ours, how are we ever going to start seeing these goals achieved on a national and even universal level?

But where do we even start to try and achieve such a monumental goal?

We can start at the kitchen table. The way we use food as nourishing sustenance, a gathering ritual, and a direct connection with the economy provide ample outlets to make conscious choices to begin to shift toward achieving these goals.

Start by thinking about these goals over breakfast. Then talk to your family about these goals over dinner.

Does the food you feed your body nourish you to help make you an active member of our community?

Thinking about where you got your food: did you grow it? Did it get shipped here from Mexico?

Did it come from a B.C. farmer?

When we gather around food, what meaningful and empowering conversations can we have?

When we start to think about these questions and make active decisions, even on a household level, we are continually stepping closer to an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable city.

If you would like to become involved with the group working toward the sustainable development goals here in Terrace, Terrace 2030, please get in touch by emailing or phone 250-631-9631.

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